life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life



 Drinking from an Empty Glass:
A Letter to a Dear, Dark Friend
Yes, I know the government is corrupt. Yes, I know

there are people conspiring. Yes, I know people can

lack integrity. Yes, I know that western culture is materialistic.

Yes, I know that corporations are self-serving.

Yes, I know that the media is manipulative. Yes, I know

it is hard to trust love. Yes, I know that it can be difficult

to believe in God. I share many of your concerns.
And I also know that we cannot change the world

without acknowledging what is wrong. I know that we

must stand against that which shames, oppresses and

damages humanity. I know that we should not ignore

the injustices and put on a fake smile. I know that we

must find our voice and stand our ground. I know that

we must fight for our right to the light. I believe deeply

in forward moving criticism.
But something doesn’t feel quite right. You complain

all the time. You have made negativity a full time

job. You don’t make an effort to find solutions. You

blame everything on the world out there. You don’t actually

do anything positive to effect change. And you

seldom acknowledge the positive steps humanity has

made. You seldom acknowledge the beauty around

you. You almost never see the light in the darkness.
I know something from my lived experience. I

know that the light is always there. It is there, in the

breath that keeps you alive, in the smile of a child, in

the yet another chance to find your path. It is there in

the rise of the feminine, in the therapeutic revolution,

in the burgeoning quest for authenticity. If you can’t see

it, then the issue is a personal one, for there are signs of

progress everywhere.
And I also know from a lifetime of overcoming that

it is possible to hold it all at once. To fight against injustice

while still embodying the light. To see where we

are lacking, while rejoicing in our abundance. To express

our anger, and to live our gratitude. To feel overwhelmed

by an unfair world, while still achieving our goals. To see how 

far we have yet to travel, while applauding how far we have come.
And so I wonder what lives below your perpetual

negativity? Apart from the problems with the world,

what happened that darkened your lens? What made

the glass so empty? Is it really all about the world ‘out

there’, or are there also unresolved personal experiences

that need to be healed? What are you really trying to express

about the lack of love, attention, and satisfaction

in your life? What lives below this victimhood? What is

your deeper complaint? What needs to expressed and

resolved so that you will see some light shining through

again? Please don’t wait until the world is perfect, for it

will never be so.
Dear friend, how can I help you to believe again?


(~Jeff Brown an excerpt from ‘Love it Forward’)


 In every moment we make a decision — whether conscious or unconscious. Will I choose to open my heart, send love, withhold judgment and thus free myself from fear? Or will I close my heart, project fear instead of extending love, judge others, and thus bind myself to fear? The choice is mine and mine alone.
— Marianne Williamson



Like a tree our growth depends upon our ability to soften, loosen, and shed boundaries and defenses we no longer need.


Trees grow up through their branches and down through their roots into the earth. They also grow wider with each passing year. As they do, they shed the bark that served to protect them but now is no longer big enough to contain them. In the same way, we create boundaries and develop defenses to protect ourselves and then, at a certain point, we outgrow them. If we don’t allow ourselves to shed our protective layer, we can’t expand to our full potential. 
Trees need their protective bark to enable the delicate process of growth and renewal to unfold without threat. Likewise, we need our boundaries and defenses so that the more vulnerable parts of ourselves can safely heal and unfold. But our growth also depends upon our ability to soften, loosen, and shed boundaries and defenses we no longer need. It is often the case in life that structures we put in place to help us grow eventually become constricting. 
Unlike a tree, we must consciously decide when it’s time to shed our bark and expand our boundaries, so we can move into our next ring of growth. Many spiritual teachers have suggested that our egos don’t disappear so much as they become large enough to hold more than just our small sense of self—the boundary of self widens to contain people and beings other than just “me.” Each time we shed a layer of defensiveness or ease up on a boundary that we no longer need, we metaphorically become bigger people. With this in mind, it is important that we take time to question our boundaries and defenses. While it is essential to set and honor the protective barriers we have put in place, it is equally important that we soften and release them when the time comes. In doing so, we create the space for our next phase of growth. 


by Madisyn Taylor 

Daily OM
photos found at


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